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7 Ways to Maximize Your Small Volunteer Team This Easter

Lacking lots of Easter volunteers this year? These seven ways to maximize a small volunteer team will help children’s ministry leaders overcome volunteer recruitment challenges and embrace new opportunities for sharing the Good News of Jesus with kids and families this Easter season.

While kids search for Easter eggs, you may be on the hunt for Easter volunteers in your children’s ministry. Let’s face it: Scheduling volunteers over the holidays can be difficult and discouraging. But don’t give up! Instead, consider how to make the most of what you have. Reimagine your regularly scheduled programming and make serving in children’s ministry more accessible and enjoyable for Easter volunteers.

Here’s how! Check out these seven ways to maximize your small volunteer team this Easter season.

1. Invite Easter volunteers to serve with family and friends.

Don’t ask people to sacrifice time with families. Do recruit families and friend groups to serve together!

It’s understandable that families and friend groups want to be together on holidays. So invite them to serve together!

Reach out to your regular team members and ask them to invite family members to serve with them on Easter Sunday. Ministry to children can be a family affair!

And consider single volunteer team members; they may want to be with friends over the holidays, too! Please don’t simply assume they’ll be free and available to pull double duty. Instead, encourage single team members to invite friends to serve alongside them on Easter Sunday.

Be sure to background check each family member who hasn’t served in your children’s ministry before. And don’t forget to follow up with each person who serves. Perhaps new Easter volunteers will become regular volunteers!

2. Try a large group/small group format.

Don’t insist on doing things the way you’ve always done them. Do try a new format that requires fewer volunteers.

Rather than age-graded classrooms that require a lead teacher and helper in each room, consider combining classrooms. You could have one large-group class for pre-K and kindergarten kids, and one large-group class for elementary children. Within those larger groups of kids, create smaller groups or “crews” of children, and assign a helper to each crew.

With a large group/small group format, each room needs two types of volunteers:

  1. A leader: The one person in each teaching space who has looked over the lesson and will direct all activities. This person is a gifted teacher who has experience working with kids.
  2. Helpers: Additional Easter volunteers who simply show up and participate along with kids. No experience or preparation required! Helpers don’t need to be Bible experts—simply people who love Jesus and children.

Concerned that your curriculum won’t easily adapt to this format? Well, Easter may be the time to try something new. Consider purchasing a holiday pack from Simply Loved curriculum. Each pack contains a Palm Sunday and Easter lesson, plus two Christmas lessons for later this year!

3. Try a station rotation format!

Don’t give volunteers too much to do. Do give them specific assignments to repeat.

Here’s another way to mix up your regular format and give Easter volunteers a little less responsibility and a lot more specialized fun!

Rotating through different stations has been a staple of Group VBS for over 25 years! This innovative format was designed with a small volunteer team in mind. That way, volunteers can specialize on one part of the lesson and repeat it several times. In other words, they do a little less more often!

This approach works for Easter Sunday, too! Set up stations for small groups of kids to rotate through. Assign each Easter volunteer a station that best suits his or her skills and interests. Each volunteer only has to prepare for one activity, instead of a whole lesson.

Stations ideas include: Bible story, game, craft, video, music, and object lesson.

Not sure your curriculum will easily adapt to this format? Check out DIG IN curriculum. Each lesson is made up of activity blocks that can be transformed into stations! Or consider purchasing an Easter event kit. You could even invite parents and caregivers to join the fun! (Bonus: You won’t need as many volunteers to handle crowd control with parents around!)

4. Twice is nice! If you have three or more services, schedule the same Easter volunteers for multiple services.

Don’t underestimate volunteers’ capacity. Do make the most of their investment.

Here’s an idea for churches that host three or more Easter Sunday services.

Have you ever taught a lesson and then thought, “If I had to do it again, I’d change that or do this differently?” Well, consider giving Easter volunteers that chance. Rather than asking Easter volunteers to prepare and teach a lesson once, ask them to prepare a lesson once and teach it twice! You’ll maximize their preparation and grow their experience, and they can still attend a service with friends and family.

Here’s a tip: Consider serving a continental breakfast for Easter volunteers between services. Fill their tummies so they can fill your children’s ministry with energy and excitement!

5. Set Easter volunteers up for success.

Don’t ask volunteers to lead activities that won’t work. Do keep it simple and set volunteers up for success. 

When planning lesson activities, be sure to put yourselves in Easter volunteers’ shoes. Ask yourself, “What will it be like to help 20 preschoolers make this pre-packaged craft? Will there be cuteness or chaos?” Or “Will someone who has never worked with kids keep kids’ attention throughout this long-winded script?” If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” then ditch that idea.

Also consider logistics like an increase in your usual numbers for the holiday, or if more girls might be wearing dresses as you choose a game to play. Avoid messy crafts that will ruin kids’ Easter clothes.

Instead, set leaders up for success with a variety of simple, age-appropriate activities kids will love. Remember, when it comes to lesson content, you’re not on your own. So don’t go it alone!  A good curriculum will help you.

6. Mix things up with meaningful media.

Don’t replace volunteers with media. Do include meaningful media that gives volunteers a little break.

Think about it, your senior pastor doesn’t teach non-stop for 75 minutes on Easter Sunday. So don’t ask children’s ministry Easter volunteers to do that! A corporate worship service at your church may include a music, Scripture reading, video messages, and time to greet each other. Make sure your children’s services mix things up and give leaders some talking breaks, too.

Videos can help with this. Throughout your time with children, include video segments to re-engage kids and give teachers a little breather.

Again, a good curriculum will provide meaningful media. For example, DIG IN curriculum provides music videos and a Talk-About video each week. And Simply Loved lessons include music videos and Bible Memory Buddy videos that help Scripture go from the head to the heart.

Plus, check out more media options from our friends at Group Publishing, Yancy Ministries, or Doorpost Songs.

7. Elevate the importance of Easter volunteers.

Don’t set the bar low. Do ask volunteers to rise to the occasion and take responsibility.

When desperate for volunteers, it’s easy to minimize responsibilities. We may say, “Just show up and hold babies.” Or “Just tell a Bible story and color with kids.” Or “Just keep the children alive!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to be a part of a team that settles for a bunch of “justs.”

So when you talk about children’s ministry volunteer opportunities, elevate the importance of ministry to children and the vital role Easter volunteers play at your church. They aren’t babysitters! They are preachers, teachers, and shepherds who share the Good News of Jesus with children. That’s not a trivial task—it’s of utmost importance! So invite Easter volunteers to be a part of something great this Easter season, and watch them rise to the occasion!

Your team of Easter volunteers may be small this year, but with good leadership, careful planning, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, you can share God’s mighty love in amazing ways!

Have we got more Easter ideas for you! Check out these articles for more inspiration.

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7 Ways to Maximize Your Small Volunte...

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